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MSc Financial Engineering and Risk Management

Why we're great

  • Our work is often cited in the Bank of England, the European Central Bank and the Federal Reserve
  • We are one of the largest finance groups in the UK
  • We are in the UK’s top 25 for research excellence (REF 2014)

Course options2016-17

Duration: 1 year
Start month: October
Location: Colchester Campus
Based in: Essex Business School
Fee (Home/EU): £9,950
Fee (International): £15,500

Duration: 2 years
Start month: October
Location: Colchester Campus
Based in: Essex Business School
Fee (Home/EU): £4,975
Fee (International): £7,750

Course enquiries

Telephone 01206 872719
Email pgadmit@essex.ac.uk

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About the course

How can we prevent another financial crisis? Is it by better understanding risk in financial securities? Can improving the way we measure and manage risk create stability in the financial world?

The after effects of the 2008 financial meltdown are still being felt across the globe. We need knowledgeable financial professionals who can evaluate risk, act rationally and understand the economic impact of their actions in order to find solutions. If you can rise to the challenge of making ethical, sound financial decisions in pressurised environments, MSc Financial Engineering and Risk Management is for you.

You follow advanced, contemporary study in financial engineering and risk management and develop a deeper understanding of the risks within modern financial securities. You also become skilled in the design of robust management systems to measure risk. Upon graduation, you should possess the skills and knowledge for a successful career in commercial, investment and central banks, hedge funds, regulatory authorities and rating agencies.

You master areas including:

  • asset pricing
  • derivative securities
  • financial modelling
  • mathematical research techniques using Matlab

MSc Financial Engineering and Risk Management is taught at Essex Business School, home to one of the largest, and most respected, finance groups in the UK. Our teaching is grounded in contemporary issues and professional practice, supported by industry-standard facilities, such as our Bloomberg virtual trading floor.

We’re ranked in the top 25 in the UK for research excellence (REF 2014) and are home to an international community of scholars, practitioners and academics; our current Masters students join us from more than 40 countries.

This course is also available to study part-time and you may be able to apply for scholarships and discounts offered by the University of Essex. Essex Business School also offers a limited number of scholarships for the CFA level one exam and IMC level one and two exams to exceptional Masters students.

Essex Business School is an IMC Advantage Partner and a Recognised Partner of the CFA.

“The professors have strong research backgrounds, but they are also great at teaching. My lecturers were always willing to answer any questions about my course, assignments or career advice. I now work at the Inter-American Development Bank, introducing Green Bonds to the Mexican market. My Masters equipped me with the skills I use in my current role, such as financial analysis, credit risk analysis, programming skills and statistical tools for cash flow and forecast models.”

Daniel Castineyra, MSc Financial Engineering and Risk Management (2014)

Our expert staff

We’re home to Essex Finance Centre, which produces research at the cutting-edge of financial debate.

Work by our expert staff has been discussed in the Bank of England, the European Central Bank and the Federal Reserve, so you join a business school that seeks to make a real difference to solving financial challenges around the world.

We combine academic experience with industry expertise and are renowned for research into:

  • business ethics and corporate social responsibility
  • organisation studies
  • leadership and strategy
  • finance and banking
  • risk management
  • international management

Specialist facilities

You’re based at our Colchester Campus, in our landmark zero carbon building.

Our Colchester home is an example of our dedication to sustainable and ethical business practices. Its design is both environmentally friendly and architecturally stunning, with a winter garden and sun terrace contributing to the building’s own micro-climate and providing a tranquil environment for group working and socialising. Our Bonds café is located on site, making a great space for reviewing course notes before lectures.

Our virtual trading floor, complete with Bloomberg Financial Market Labs, enables you to practice dealing stocks and securities using industry-standard equipment. You can also benefit from our study skills workshops, designed to help you excel in your academic work.

Our building is also located on the University’s Knowledge Gateway, providing potential opportunities to network with inspiring SMEs who locate their businesses on our Colchester Campus.

Your future

An Essex Business School education is founded on creativity, innovation and ethical awareness to prepare you for the challenges of the global marketplace.

Our course provides you with the opportunity to develop a career in financial analysis, management, public administration and accountancy, as well as fostering your entrepreneurial spirit.

We provide plenty of support along the way to help you secure your dream job. Our dedicated employability team work closely with the University’s Employability and Careers Centre to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.

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Example structure

Postgraduate study is the chance to take your education to the next level. The combination of compulsory and optional modules means our courses help you develop extensive knowledge in your chosen discipline, whilst providing plenty of freedom to pursue your own interests. Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field, therefore to ensure your course is as relevant and up-to-date as possible your core module structure may be subject to change.

For many of our courses you’ll have a wide range of optional modules to choose from – those listed in this example structure are, in many instances, just a selection of those available. Our Programme Specification gives more detail about the structure available to our current postgraduate students, including details of all optional modules.

Year 1

Your dissertation is the culmination of your Masters programme, where you apply the knowledge gained on your course to produce a 10,000 word independent piece of work. You generate an original idea, analyse literature and current knowledge and produce a coherent argument that shows your ability to relate theory to practice. Your dissertation will help you develop vital skills for the workplace, as well as the ability to analyse real problems through an academic lens. You're assigned a supervisor for the duration of your project.

This module introduces Matlab, software commonly used in financial organisations and academia to model portfolio construction and solve banking and finance challenges. You learn how to use Matlab programming language to solve financial problems. These may include finding optimal portfolio weights, calculating and simulating derivative prices and implied volatilities, and estimating and simulating GARCH models, amongst others.

This module equips you with the econometric tools and necessary experience to conduct empirical research in finance. You review statistical and basic econometric models and learn to apply econometric techniques in finance by considering topics such as (G)ARCH models, unit roots and cointegration.

This module covers topics in mathematics that are required in Masters-level finance courses at the University of Essex. You focus on the basics of linear algebra, differential calculus including optimisation and dynamics.

The recent financial crisis and credit crunch have demonstrated that risk management was too narrowly defined. In this course you examine the Value at Risk (VAR) measure of financial risk developed in the 1990s, before discussing the new post-crisis Regulatory environment.

Consider the use of modern econometric techniques in the analysis of financial time series. You cover multivariate models for stationary and non-stationary processes, such as Vector Autoregressive models, consider appropriate models for volatility, and study Markov processes and simulation methods used for financial modelling.

Gain a formal introduction to asset pricing theories and empirical findings. You review the fundamental theories of the expected utility, asset pricing kernels, and risk-neutral valuation, covering the Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM), and linear factor models arising from the Arbitrage Pricing Theory (APT). You also discuss empirical asset pricing studies.

Master the pricing of financial derivatives and their use for hedging financial risks. You study the basics of futures and options, analyse the Black-Scholes and binomial option pricing models, and consider various numerical techniques for pricing financial derivatives. Futures and options are then utilised in the context of hedging financial risks, and you are introduced to the concept of volatility trading and the treatment of volatility as an asset class.

Gain theoretical knowledge and a practical understanding of financial markets, trading strategies, risk and money management and trader analytics at the highest level. You study a mix of classroom-based instruction, case studies and practical trading exercises where you trade on real-time simulated global markets through the use of industry-strength proprietary trading software in the trading lab.

Teaching

  • Tailor the content of your course to more closely fit your interests and aspirations
  • Courses focus on practical applications and links with industry
  • We run an open seminar series

Assessment

  • Regular assessment is by coursework, presentations, case studies, group work, tests and examinations

Dissertation

  • You submit a 15,000 word dissertation

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Qualifications

UK entry requirements

A 1st, 2:1 or good 2:2 degree, or equivalent, in finance, economics or business. We also welcome applications from candidates with any science or engineering degree.

International and EU entry requirements

We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries. Email pgadmit@essex.ac.uk for further details about the qualifications we accept. Include information in your email about the undergraduate qualification you have already completed or are currently taking.

IELTS entry requirements

If English isn’t your first language, we require IELTS 6.5 overall with a minimum component score of 5.5

If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.

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Visit us

Open days

We hold postgraduate events in February/March and November, and open days for all our applicants throughout the year. Our Colchester Campus events are a great way to find out more about studying at Essex, and give you the chance to:

  • tour our campus and accommodation
  • find out answers to your questions about our courses, student finance, graduate employability, student support and more
  • meet our students and staff

If the dates of our organised events aren’t suitable for you, feel free to get in touch by emailing tours@essex.ac.uk and we’ll arrange an individual campus tour for you.

Virtual tours

If you live too far away to come to Essex (or have a busy lifestyle), no problem. Our 360 degree virtual tour allows you to explore the Colchester Campus from the comfort of your home. Check out our accommodation options, facilities and social spaces.

Exhibitions

Our staff travel the world to speak to people about the courses on offer at Essex. Take a look at our list of exhibition dates to see if we’ll be near you in the future.

Applying

You can apply for our postgraduate courses online. You’ll need to provide us with your academic qualifications, as well as supporting documents such as transcripts, English language qualifications and certificates. You can find a list of necessary documents online, but please note we won’t be able to process your application until we have everything we need.

There is no application deadline but we recommend that you apply before 1 July for our taught courses starting in October. We aim to respond to applications within two weeks. If we are able to offer you a place, you will be contacted via email.

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Although great care is taken in compiling our course details, they are intended for the general guidance of prospective students only. The University reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University.

The full procedures, rules and regulations of the University are set out in the Charter, Statues and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.